Karibu Neema Crafts!
Stop by and find lots of beautiful handmade items such as handbags, lighting, notepads, postcards, jewelry, scarves, toys and more. Everything we sell is made by deaf and disabled artisans in our workshop so come and take a tour!
By shopping with us, you know that our products are made by staff who are receiving a fair wage and our products are produced from sustainable materials. All of the profit from shopping with us goes back to Tanzania to support the work of the project. Each of our products is lovingly crafted by individuals, rather than mass-produced in a large factory, meaning you have an opportunity to directly connect with the artisans themselves and become part of their story.
Directions to Neema Crafts
Bus: This will take approximately 9 hours and offers a chance to view a few safari animals while traveling through Mikumi National Park. You can book
your tickets in advance with a variety of bus companies. There are also cheaper bus
companies, but we would advise going for the more
Prices range from
20,000 – 30,000TZS.
NB: Some buses will drop you at Igumbilo, which is a small suburb of Iringa, from here you will need to catch a taxi up the hill into town (this will cost around 10,000TZS for this taxi to Neema Crafts). Some buses will drop you in the centre of Iringa, which is after the stop at Igumbilo.
Fly: This is by far the safest and most expedient option, but also of course expensive. Auric Air fly directly to and from Iringa three times a week.
Drive: If you already have a vehicle or are thinking about hiring one, this can be slightly more comfortable than catching a bus. It is not cheap however, and may be restrictive unless you are sharing the costs between a group. The going rate for hiring taxi for this route is between 4-500,000TZS one way.
Overnight in Dar: Depending on when you arrive into Dar you may find you need to stay over night before starting the journey to Iringa. There are some good accommodation options near the airport including Transit Motel.
Bus: There are a number of bus companies driving to Iringa from Arusha/Moshi. Leaving from the central bus stand in Arusha at 06:00 it travels via Moshi and then Chalinze, Morogoro, eventually arriving into Iringa after 12hrs. Ensure you are on a direct bus when you book your tickets (from the bus stand) to avoid a change at Morogoro. Single tickets approx 40,000TZS.
Air: Unfortunately, you cannot fly directly to Iringa from Arusha or Moshi (yet!).
Bus: Unless you have your own car, this would be the obvious mode of transport. There are many buses leaving the main bus stand in Mbeya for Iringa for a range of prices. The cheaper option is to go for a ‘coaster’ bus, but be aware that these will stop regularly on the way to pick up passengers! You should look to leave before 11:00.
NB: Some buses will drop you at Ipogolo (or Ipogoro), which is a small suburb of Iringa, from here you will need to catch a taxi up the hill into town (don’t pay more than 8-10,000TZS for this taxi to Neema Crafts). Most buses will drop you in the centre of Iringa, which is after the stop at Ipogolo.
Drive: If you have your own vehicle you can comfortably drive to Iringa in 6 hours. Again, it is possible to hire your own taxi, but this will be expensive unless you are splitting the cost.
Air: There are currently no regular flights from Mbeya to Iringa.
Take a tour
Our artisans work from Monday - Friday so simply pop in and ask our shop assistants for a tour, they'll be delighted to show you around!
Here we use a wide range of fabrics, such as fabulously colourful African printed cottons or our very own screen-printed designs.
We tend to use hand or foot powered machines according to the ability of the operator. Many of our staff do not yet have power or running water in their homes so by learning to use manual machines they can continue to produce items from home as outworkers or if they go on to set up their own businesses.
Weaving is a great craft to teach people with disabilities as it is accessible to a variety of abilities. Some looms use hands only, whilst others need the use of one or two legs. Weaving is also a very therapeutic activity and many of the physically disabled workers who come to us have been through immense trauma and suffering in their lives. The process of creating something beautiful by hand, surrounded by others who have similar stories is perhaps one of the best ways for our trainees to gain confidence and dignity again.
The ingenuity, skill and potential amongst all of our trainees in carpentry is very exciting and it is often the area in which new product ideas are developed.
The deaf-run department is ably headed up by Sergio and Kenedy who, with their team, produce long runs of beautiful print designs.
Our Award-Winning Cafe
It's popularity amongst tourists, volunteers, locals and ex-pats alike has made it a hub for social activity, where you can find out what is happening in town and connect with a wide cross-section of the community. You can even learn the local Swahili sign language from our waiters William and Shukuru, because our kitchen is entirely staffed deaf employees.
Open: 8.30am - 6.30pm, Mon-Sat
Available: Wifi, W/C, baby change, conference facilities, parking, kid's area.
Take a break
Afforable stays at Neema UMAKI Guesthouse
DOUBLE OR TWIN
FAMILY ROOM [ 1 DOUBLE + 1 BUNK ]
1 double bed and 1 bunk
DOMITORY [ 3 SINGLE BEDS )
Tourist Family: 40,000TSh
Residents Family: 35,000TSh
Tourist Double/Twin: 35,000TSh
Residents Double/Twin: 30,000TSh
Tourist Single in Dormitory: 18,000TSh, Resident Single in Dormitory: 15,000TSh
All prices include breakfast in our award winning café served from 07:30 – 9.30am.
Safari packed lunches and early breakfasts can be arranged at reception.
- Seating for up to 80 people
- Projector and screen
- WiFi connection
- Catering: morning tea, buffet lunches and afternoon teas
- Toilets and baby change facilities
Accomodation: Neema Crafts also has a 10 bedroom guest house (which sleeps 30 in total), please click here for booking details and rates.
Beautiful surroundings: The conference room boasts an impressive view over the Iringa hills and in between conference sessions you can step out onto our relaxing balcony for a refreshing break.
Parking: There is ample, free parking in front of and alongside the centre. Click here to find us on Google Maps.